Newborn Screening
  • Newborn Screening

Each year, about 98 percent of the 4 million newborns in the U.S. are screened for an array of serious genetic and other health conditions. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 12,500 newborns each year are diagnosed with one of the core conditions detected through newborn screening. This means about 1 in every 300 newborns screened is eventually diagnosed.

Texas hospitals play a critical role in screening newborns for certain, potentially devastating conditions that with early intervention and treatment can change a child’s future and prevent life-long disability or death.

Texas has required newborn screening since 1999, and like many other states, requires hospitals to conduct three types of screenings on all newborns born in their facilities:

1. Hearing.
2. Congenital metabolic and genetic disorders (bloodspot).
3. Critical congenital heart disease.

Because of the severity of these conditions, it’s imperative that hospitals screen accurately and timely and deliver accurate and timely screening results for every baby.


Carrie Kroll, vice president of advocacy, public health and quality, 512-465-1043

Download the Newborn Screening Whitepaper

In collaboration with OZ Systems, the newborn hearing screening vendor for Texas Department of State Health Services, the Texas Hospital Association is helping educate Texas hospitals on the best practices for and benefits of newborn screening to:

 Increase the number of newborns in Texas who are screened for serious conditions according to evidence-based timelines.

 Reduce challenges for hospitals, providers and families.

THA and OZ Systems hosted on Oct. 9, 2018 an "Implementing Best Practices for Newborn Screening in Hospitals" webinar. The webinar covered the three different screenings and best practices and benefits of each.


In this Capitol Update, THA's Carrie Kroll and Lance Lunsford discuss the importance of newborn screening.

Important Updates

Newborn Screening Fee Increase 

Beginning Aug. 5, TDSHS will expand the Texas Newborn Screening Panel to include X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy and, as a result, must increase the fee to cover the additional cost of providing X-ALD screening and follow-up services. The fee for each insurance/self-pay test kit is expected to increase about $5 - $6 by Jan. 1, 2020. Stakeholders will be notified of the exact amount a minimum of 90 days prior to the increase.

The CPT code that providers should submit to insurance companies for X-ALD is 82726 Very Long Chain Fatty Acid. Additional information on CPT codes is available here

Use the insurance/self-pay test kit (form #NBS4) for newborns that are covered under a private insurance plan or will pay out of pocket. 

Use the Medicaid/CHIP test kid (form #NBS3) only for Medicaid eligible newborns, newborns covered by CHIP or newborns that have no other payment option as required in Texas Administrative Code, Title 25 Section 37.55.

More on the fee increase and the result reports and reporting statements are available here

Seven Steps to Improve Timeliness of Newborn Screening   

Newborn screening is critical to ensure a healthy baby, and any delay in collecting or receiving a specimen has the potential to put a baby's life at risk. THA and TDSHS ask Texas hospitals to use these best practices to improve timeliness and ensure proper specimen submission. 

  1. 1. Review the internal processes to identify areas that may cause delays. 
  2. 2. Collect specimens between 24-48 hours of age. Sooner the better. 
  3. 3.  Collect specimens at least 4-5 hours before a scheduled courier pick up. 
  4. 4. Use overnight shipping whenever possible. Do not wait until the next day. 
  5. 5. Assign specific collection and submission tasks to specific staff members to ensure accountability with every task. 
  6. 6. Use the monthly report card to assess and monitor your specimen transit times. 
  7. 7. For assistance, contact the TDSHS Lab at 888/963-7111 or 

Report Diagnosed Cases of Critical Congenital Heart Disease in Newborns

TDSHS and THA ask Texas hospitals report diagnosed cases of critical congenital heart disease in newborns to support research and prevention efforts.
 Download the Notice